Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nerd Numbers Guest Post: The Regend Continues

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I'll have part two of my response to Tom Liston of Raptors Republic up shortly, but in the meantime, Andres Alvarez - the currently blogless nomad of the Wages of Wins Network, and the man who created the automated WP site - has graciously offered some additional commentary on Reggie Evans.

Here's what Nerd Numbers has to say (with very slight editorial changes):

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Regend and the Ninja: A Response (part I)

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Yesterday, Tom Liston of Raptors Republic - TrueHoop's Raptors' affiliate - wrote a column about Reggie Evans and James Johnson. In his column, Tom mentions that he has some problems with Wins Produced and my analysis of Evans and Johnson in the past. Specifically, Tom's main issues seem to be:
  • Evans' WP48 is near the top of the league (currently at 0.356), but Reggie doesn't seem to belong with the other players (Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade) at the top.
  • If Wins Produced doesn't overvalue rebounds, and the only thing Evans' does well is rebound, why is Evans' WP48 so high?
  • James Johnson is playing well in Toronto - "he’s pretty much exactly the same player" as he was  during his rookie season. So why did I say that he probably wouldn't be a good player when Toronto traded for him?
  • Wins Produced is one measure of player productivity among several, and one should "never rely on one metric to draw conclusions".

Let's start with Reggie.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No, no, no: DeMar DeRozan is not the MIP

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During the Raptors’ blowout loss at the hands of the Nuggets, I listened in disbelief as the commentators - Matt Devlin and Jack Armstrong - made the case that DeMar DeRozan should be in the running for the Most Improved Player (MIP) award. Now, I’ve already written about this in the past, but the fact that this idea is still out there means that I need to keep addressing this topic.

The argument for DeRozan as the MIP

During the game, the stat used to back up this argument was...drumroll...PPG increase from last season. Here were the names that they included on the graphic that popped up onto the screen:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nuggets, Knicks, and the 'Melo Effect'

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While the Raptors haven't been very interesting lately - although they did pull off a nice upset of the Thunder before getting absolutely walloped by the Nuggets last night - I've been looking into other things. One of these things, incidentally, was the improvement in the play of the Nuggets since they traded away Carmelo Anthony. And if you don't believe that the Nuggets have improved, here are some stats for you, because here at the Wages of Wins Network, we're all about stats:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Raptor Trivia: Pounded (or Pound for Pound: The Sequel)

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Last time my trivia question was about the best 'pound for pound' players in Raptors history. This week, I figured we should take a stab at the players with the worst 'pound for pound' seasons in Raptors history.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jay Triano: Raps "seventh or eighth best shooting team in the NBA"

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According to Doug Smith of the Toronto Star, Jay Triano offered the following evaluation of the Raptors' shooting performance this season:
“Listen, we’re the seventh or eighth best shooting team in the NBA without being able to make a three-point shot. We have one game where we don’t really get it going from a variety of guys so let’s just (bleeping) relax a little bit.”
Really? Seventh or eighth? Other than that comment about not being able to make threes, I don't believe you have a handle on the stats, Mr. Triano. Thanks to dougstats, I have the shooting percentages of every team in the league for games played up to 03/12/11. Here's the table:

An important difference between Canada and the US

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Warning: this post may contain political content.

Thanks to original author Gery Woelfel, via ESPN/TrueHoop, there are at least two articles going around about Kim Hughes's pancreatic cancer, and how - when his employer, the Clippers, wouldn't pay for it - some of the players on his team got together and covered his whole bill:
"I contacted the Clippers about medical coverage and they said the surgery wouldn't be covered," Hughes said. "I said, ‘Are you kidding me?' And they said if they did it for one person, they'd have to do for everybody else."

When Dunleavy learned the Clippers wouldn't cover the cost of Hughes' surgery, he mentioned it to his players.

Several of them, including now Milwaukee Bucks forward Corey Maggette, Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric, were taken aback by the news and decided to offer their assistance.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

WOW Network Podcast for 03/13/11

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On Friday - along with David Berri of the Wages of Wins Journal, Arturo Galletti of Arturo's Silly Little Stats, and Mosi Platt of the Miami Heat Index - I participated in a WOW network podcast, which you can listen to here. We talked about "Small Market Teams" and "Super Teams", the NBA draft, and the NFL labour (yes, that word is spelt with a 'u') issue.

Dave also has a short little summary of the podcast on his site.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Basketball Research: take it to the bank

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I've subscribed to ScienceDaily's daily RSS feed (yes, I'm a big nerd; but everyone knew that already). Every day I skim through the articles to see if there are any interesting new scientific developments; today I noticed an article on bankshots in basketball.

I haven't taken an in-depth look at the methodology of the research, but from the summary and the accompanying image, it seems that this article supports conventional basketball wisdom and my own observations - which is that there are some spots on the floor where it is easier to make a basket if you go for a bankshot instead of a direct shot. Of course, if you have been paying any attention to the career of Timmy "D&D" Duncan, you'd probably know that too.

But to me this was the more interesting tidbit:

Raptor Trivia: Pound for Pound

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Last week I asked a question about players who were capable of getting triple-doubles. Today I want to ask a question based on a term that is often thrown around in sports: 'pound for pound'.

Back in the day, we used to hear about how Allen Iverson was, 'pound for pound', the "best scorer in the league" (of course, I beg to differ on that one). Frequently, boxers (the athletes, not the undergarments) are referred to as the best 'pound for pound' fighters. So, given my interest in basketball and the Toronto Raptors, what I want to know is, pound for pound, who are the most productive players in the history of the franchise?

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The 50 greatest NBA players of all-time

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Given the team's record right now, Raptor news is a bit boring these days; eventually I will take another look at how the individual players have been playing, but Nerd Numbers is down (and the Game Splits tool - which I had just started to rely on for my weekly player evaluations - has been down for a while now). So today I will write about a topic that is barely even tangentially related to the Raptors - my version of the NBA's 50 greatest players.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Raptor Trivia: Triple-Double Potential

New readers, please check out the basics before leaving any comments.

I haven't been posting much recently, so I figured I'd try to add another (mostly) regular feature. Because I am almost completely unoriginal (hi Andres), I thought I'd go with some Raptor focused trivia.

Due to the fact that I only have one team to pull from, I'm not necessarily going to limit myself to Wins Produced related queries; instead I'll try to find interesting and novel questions.